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Feral rabbits huge issue in west Las Vegas area

(ABCNews.com photo)

The large population of feral rabbits on the surrounding grounds of the State of Nevada’s West Charleston Campus including facilities of the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, the Division of Child and Family Services, and the Aging and Disability Services Division has created a potential public health risk.

The Department of Health and Human Services received a report from Southern Nevada Health District after their review of the feral rabbit population at the West Charleston Campus located at 6171 West Charleston Boulevard.

The feral rabbits are creating a safety risk to the public, the presence of these animals creates a high potential for clients, staff, and visitors to contract disease.

Feral rabbits can carry bacterial and viral illnesses that can be transferred to humans, such as Tularemia and Salmonellosis when contact is made with the animals, fecal material or contaminated soils. Predators attracted to the rabbits may be common carriers of rabies.

The Division of Public and Behavioral Health, Environmental Health Section would like to offer the following suggestions to protect the public health while the rabbits remain on the grounds and the hazards present are removed:

  • Contact with the animals, fecal material, contaminated soils and contaminated grass must be avoided by all staff, clients and visitors.
  • A public notice has been posted at the facility to notify the staff, clients and visitors of the potential health risks present and to avoid contact.
  • Strict handwashing procedures should be in place for all staff, clients and visitors that may have come in contact with the animals or contaminated grounds.
  • Providing food and water to the feral rabbits must cease immediately.
  • Trapping activities will begin to relocate the animals, please ensure that traps are not tampered with or taken away from the grounds.
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